The Bridge at Quebec - Railroads Past & Present (Hardback)William D. Middleton (author)
Hardback Published: 22/04/2001
- Not available
"The Bridge at Quebec" provides a fully illustrated account of the long effort to build a bridge across the St. Lawrence at this difficult site, with particular emphasis on the extraordinary story of the failure of the first bridge, its engineers and their fateful decisions, the terrible collapse of August 29, 1907, and the human tragedies that accompanied it, and the lessons that its story holds even today for engineers and builders as they continue to extend the boundaries of technology. At mid-19th century the political and commercial leaders of the City of Quebec dreamed of a great bridge across the St. Lawrence River that would link their city with the new railway lines developing along the south shore and give Quebec a competitive edge in its long struggle with Montreal for commercial dominance. The width and depth of the St. Lawrence necessitated a bridge of unprecedented scale. Many of the best bridge engineers of the time turned their attention to the problem.Along the way there were no less than three serious proposals for a bridge that never materialised. A fourth plan finally moved ahead at the beginning of the 20th century, only to end in the tragedy of one of the greatest construction failures of all time, when the still-incomplete structure collapsed into the river in 1907 with a loss of 75 lives. From the ruins of this first attempt emerged still another plan. By 1916 the great bridge was nearing completion when tragedy struck once again. As the huge center span was being lifted into place to complete the bridge it fell into the river, taking another 11 lives. It was not until year later that a replacement was lifted into place and the great bridge was finally complete. More than 80 years later, the Quebec Bridge stands firmly astride the St. Lawrence, safely carrying the commerce of Canada across its broad waters. No one has yet built a longer cantilever span, so the bridge still ranks as the greatest of its kind ever built.Recognised by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering as an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, and by the Canadian Government as a National Historic Site, the bridge today is in the midst of a $60 million renovation and restoration program. On October 2, 2000, the centennial of the cornerstone laying that marked the physical beginning of the long effort to build the bridge, supporters of the bridge will turn on a dramatic new lighting system that will enhance its visibility as - in the words of its nomination as an international landmark - 'the primary symbol of Canadian engineering, recalling the strengths and weaknesses of the human spirit, the daring of Canadian builders and how tenacity can triumph over difficulties'."Tragedy and Triumph: The Bridge at Quebec" provides a full account of the long effort to build a bridge across the St. Lawrence at this difficult site, with particular emphasis on the extraordinary story of the failure of the first bridge, its engineers and their fateful decisions, the terrible collapse of August 29, 1907, and the human tragedies that accompanied it, and the lessons that its story holds even today for engineers and builders as they continue to extend the boundaries of technology. Fully illustrated, the book makes clear to the general reader and technical audiences alike the engineering and technical issues involved in this story of one of the world's greatest bridges.
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Weight: 898 g
Dimensions: 285 x 218 x 20 mm
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